Saturday, August 23, 2008

Me-hood vs. motherhood

M. went down on the soccer field today. I saw the ball hit her stomach, I knew her spasming diaphragm would regain rhythm, but sitting on the sidelines, unable to comfort her, was a terrible feeling. I found myself calmly telling her—from my chair—not to be scared, that her breath would return, but minute-long seconds ticked by.

Finally, in desperation, just before her coach reached her, I said, “Please lift your head, so I know you’re ok.” Her head came up, I fought back tears and the game went on. M’s team won, big time, but truly, the only part of the game clear in my mind is the interminable seconds M. lay on the ground not breathing.

These thoughts are on my mind tonight, because I went out with friends last night, and our conversation centered on one woman’s parent/child issues. We all listened and consoled this woman, but part of me resented the fact that my one night out focused on parenting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom—it is the best part of me. But it’s not all of me—sometimes I need to recognize the other parts too. What I understood today, however, is that everyone’s parental timetables are different and uniquely valid.

Good friends eat nachos and discuss parenting issues, even when they’d rather be doing Tequila shooters and romanticizing steamy romance movies. Although, in my case, they'd be discussing the latest action thrillers. What can I say...I'm an obvious throwback to mythical Amazon women... And, yes, the shooters are an exaggeration--I’m trying to make a point.

For a few seconds today, my entire world centered on my daughter--I needed everyone within close vicinity to support that. Which they did...just as I supported my friend last night. Yet, I’m sure everyone on the soccer-field sidelines had their own agendas vying for attention.

So tonight, I’m thankful…for good friends, amazing family and the wisdom to grow from new experiences…

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